Wednesday Tracks

Our Wednesday tracks are a great way to get an in-depth learning experience with some of our excellent speakers. Participants can expect a full day of intensive study, during which they’ll dig deep into their chosen topics.

You will be given the option to choose your Wednesday session when you register. While you may choose on site, pre-selecting allows us to better gauge room setup. Your selections will also be pre-loaded into the conference mobile app making it easier than ever for you to navigate your schedule during the conference.

All Wednesday tracks are held at the Penn Stater Conference Center from 9am-5pm. The registration desk will open at 7am and a light morning snack and beverages will be available beginning at 8am.

Lunch may be purchased from the registration store, from the on-site restaurant, or you may pack a lunch.

Principles of Biological Systems & Implications

Dan Kittredge, Bionutrient Food Association

This track will cover the dynamics by which plants evolved to flourish, and management practices that support the environment for that to occur. Strategies for soil aeration, hydration, mineral balancing, inoculation, and feeding through the liquid carbon pathway will be presented. Presenter Dan Kittredge will also cover broader implications for soil carbon sequestration, increases in pest and disease resistance, along with nutritive value, flavor, aroma, and shelf life. The lay of the land as it pertains to consumer education, marketing, and the food movement will also be discussed.

Starting a Farm from Scratch

Kim & Joe Albano, Ironstone Creamery; Marilyn Anthony, Temple University Fox School of Business; Jim Gillis, USDA NRCS; John & Aimee Good, Quiet Creek Farm; Ted LeBow, Kitchen Table Consultants; Anna Santini & Brooks Miller; North Mountain Pastures

Starting a farm begins with a vision, but often becomes an exercise in logistics. This full-day, pre-conference track is designed to help aspiring farmers think critically about their farm vision, from land acquisition decisions, to farm design, to effective business planning.  Presenters with professional consulting experience in each of these key areas will speak alongside three different farms, each of whom have followed different paths towards long-term sustainability. Attendees are invited to come with their questions, thoughts, and plans, as the day will be a conversation and exchange designed to help participants make their farm vision a reality.

Growing Success for Direct Market Farmers

Atina Diffley, Organic Farming Works LLC & FamilyFarmed.org

Who is your customer and why do they buy? Meeting the needs and values of your customers is fundamental to creating a healthy long-term relationship. Maintaining the relationship requires attention to details from varieties, quality, pricing, communication, sequential planting, quality control, merchandising, trends, farm-identified branding, cost of production, unit-packaging, and more. Additionally, food safety is something that every farm, no matter its size or financial position, must attend to. Having a food safety mindset does not necessarily mean having state-of-the-art equipment. This track will cover how to serve the direct market and make your farm a highly desired source of fresh produce, as well as discuss key areas of food safety and scale appropriate ways to minimize risk and embed safe practices into your daily operations.

Support provided by

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